Monday, January 30, 2012

60 days, so many abs

Happy Birthday Kettner! To celebrate your special day, we completed the 60 day insanity workout cycle!!

Liz here: I gotta admit, the last few weeks its been kind of hard to work up the enthusiasm to workout for an hour every morning, but I feel extremely accomplished that I did. I had a physical for the first time in 2 years and my new doctor told me she COULD FEEL MY ABS. Holy shit. Not to mention that my legs are rock hard, to the point that it grosses me out.

Our final fit test was this morning, and I was at a disadvantage, as I hurt my wrist last week, and couldn't do any of the plyometric exercises, but regardless, here are my results:

Switch Kicks: 110, down from 118 last time

Power Jacks: 57, up from 53

Power Knees: 104, up from 93

Power Jumps: 50, up from 42

Globe Jumps: 11, up from 10

Suicide Jumps: 0

Push Up Jacks: 0

Low Plank Obliques: 0

So now what? We're going to finish off this week with the recovery session, and then we'll continue to do the videos of our choosing 4 or 5 times a week. Insanity 4 eva!

Maris here. Well, that was fun. Now I'm ready to plan out our workout schedule post-Insanity. I think we're going to mix the "easy" workouts with the "max" workouts and see how that goes. And also have 2 days off instead of 1.

In terms of my Insanity experience...You can't really see my abs (I think I am genetically doomed to have a little gut) but that's cool. What surprised me the most is that most of my pants don't fit comfortably any more; they are TOO TIGHT. Specifically in the booty and thigh regions. So, Operation: New Pants is happening soon. To be fair, I only own 2-3 pairs of pants, so this is actually a pretty urgent mission. But enough about MY PANTS. Here's my last Fit Test results:

Switch Kicks: 130, up from 125 last time

Power Jacks: 40, up from 35

Power Knees: 100, up from 80

Power Jumps: 37, up from 28

Globe Jumps: 7, down from 8

Suicide Jumps: 13, down from 15

Push Up Jacks: 24, up from 20

Low Plank Obliques: 53, up from 40

All in all, I feel great and I'm psyched to continue working out INSANITY-style!

Greetings, internet. Joe here. I too stuck it out through the entirety of the 'Insanity' workout program (with a couple holiday exceptions -SUE ME), and I have to say, also share in a sense of accomplishment. That sense is tempered somewhat by the fact that Insanity isn't really ending, and, like Maris, I don't really have any visible evidence of my strengthening abs. But I can't deny that the workout routine has certainly forced my body into better shape. Going forward, as we'll be setting our own workout schedule, I'm hoping to do more of the ab-intensive routines, rather than the predominant 'endless jumping' exercise sessions. Not that I haven't seen any benefit from those. My legs are rock HAHD.

Switch Kicks: 135, up from 120 last time

Power Jacks: 54, up from 50

Power Knees: 104, up from 94

Power Jumps: 65, up from 45

Globe Jumps: 9, up from 7

Suicide Jumps: 13, up from 12

Push Up Jacks: 25, up from 23

Low Plank Obliques: 50, same as last week.


Monday, January 16, 2012

4 out of 5 fit tests COMPLETED

Ahoy there! Liz here: as promised in my last post, here are my fit test results so far (keeping in mind that I missed the 3rd fit test because I was in Philly sitting in a coffee shop with Kettner instead of insanitying):

First Fit Test 11/28/2011; Second Fit Test 12/12/2011; Third Fit Test 1/16/2012:

Switch Kicks: 97, 127, 118

Power Jacks: 43, 53, 53

Power Knees: 60, 80, 93

Power Jumps: 1/2 (blew out my bum knee), 37, 42

Globe Jumps: 8, 10, 10

Suicide Jumps: 9, 14, 15

Push Up Jacks: 0, 0, 23

Low Plank Obliques: 43, 60, 55

I'm happy to report that there are improvements (mostly). Obviously, since I resurrected my old bike accident knee injury the first time I tried Power Jumps, anything is an improvement, but I'm really happy with the progression. Those are small potatoes compared to the real victory: Push Up Jacks! I had shamefully admitted that I couldn't even do 1 push up when I started insanity, so to go from two zeros to 23 feels really great! Look out world: I'm gonna push up... on you... or something.

Now I will turn the computer over to Maris, who will give you her fit test results!!

Hey everybody! I love Insanity. Especially when it makes me fart (you KNOW what I'm talking about). Liz and Joe don't like that part though. Here's my Fit Test results (so far):

First Fit Test 11/28/2011; Second Fit Test 12/12/2011; Third Fit Test 1/2/2012; Fourth Fit Test 1/16/2012:

Switch Kicks: 75, 77, 120, 125

Power Jacks: 30, 40, 40, 35

Power Knees: 55, 70, 77, 80

Power Jumps: 15, 32, 30, 28

Globe Jumps: 7, 9, 8, 8

Suicide Jumps: 8, 13, 12, 15

Push Up Jacks: 0, 0, 15, 20

Low Plank Obliques: 25, 40, 40, 40

I should note that for Push Up Jacks, I did modified push ups the first two Fit Tests, so I didn't count them (Liz and I are in the same boat push up-wise).

Insanity has been a nice challenge. I played soccer for 9 years (from age 5 - 14), and after that, I pretty much fell off the workout/exercise wagon (with the exception of the occasional jog, and that summer where I taught canoeing and kayaking...). So, 7 weeks in and I feel great, and I definitely want to stick with a workout plan after the 60 days is up. Joe and I have both gained about 5 pounds doing Insanity (which I'll assume is muscle weight, since we all eat relatively healthy). I just can't wait until nice weather so we can add a jog or swim to our schedule!

Joe is currently baking us some delicious chocolate peanut butter cookies (hey, I said relatively healthy), so I will blog his Fit Tests for him:

First Fit Test 11/28/2011; Second Fit Test 12/12/2011; Third Fit Test 1/2/2012; Fourth Fit Test 1/16/2012:

Switch Kicks: 100, 90, 140, 120

Power Jacks: 37, 37, 49, 50

Power Knees: 63, 82, 89, 94

Power Jumps: 19, 35, 27, 45

Globe Jumps: 8, 10, 7, 7

Suicide Jumps: 8, 10, 11, 12

Push Up Jacks: 20, 24, 18, 23

Low Plank Obliques: 50, 59, 46, 50

Joe's a powerhouse with the push ups. In terms of organized exercise, this is his first go at it (he had some pretty severe asthma when he was younger). It's safe to say that Joe gets the most angry with Insanity. The Third Fit Test was combined with the Max Interval Circuit (an hour and a half); I thought he was going to Hulk out and murder the computer. Regardless, he's sticking with it (his goal is to be able to do push ups with Liz and I sitting on his back).

Just 2 more weeks until we complete the 60 day cycle with our final fit test! You probably won't hear from us until we're certifiably INSANE, so until then, we'll be DIGGING DEEPER (into this bowl of cookie batter)!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

insanity 3-way


This is my first time posting here, so I'll give you a little background: Maris, Joe, and I are 3 self-employed cartoonists living in the same house in Somerville, MA. We are pretty much attached at the hip: they're a couple, and I'm their permanent 3rd wheel. We cook dinner together almost every night, have "work parties" where we sit around and draw for hours on end, and all have the same problem of not having anywhere to be on a regular basis, so our exercise is fairly limited. The solution? Let's all do insanity and get totally buff beach bodies in the dead of winter!!!

First off, I've never put much importance on exercise: I'm the kind of person who can eat whatever they want and maintain a slim, albeit weak, figure. When I worked at the MFA I used to bike 12 miles everyday, but now that I work in my living room, I hardly get on my bike at all anymore (so not punx, I know). When Maris suggested we try the insanity workout, I was mostly intrigued to see how long we would keep it up for. As of writing this we have completed week 5; this was our first week of the MAX level workout. I know that I never would have made it past week 1 without having friends that I'm completely comfortable around doing the workout alongside me.

Besides motivating each other, and making fun of some of the more ridiculous moves (floor humping, anyone?), doing insanity with a group is interesting because each of us has different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the exercises. I can do squats until the cows come home, Maris is way more flexible than Joe or I, and Joe can do the push ups, while Maris and I have been slowly working our way up by using our knees (when I started insanity I couldn't even do 1 push up, now I can do 10 in a row, but the crazy variations still give me trouble). Also, I'm totally the sweatiest one of us. I can't speak for all of us, but I can say for myself that I'm not completely convinced that I full-on enjoy this work out, but I do like feeling active for an hour a day, when the rest of my time is spent sitting in front of a piece of paper or a computer screen.

That being said, I would like to use the forum to publicly apologize to our downstairs neighbors, who have to listen to us doing mummy kicks and stance jacks at 9 in the morning. We've been told that at times it sounds like we're having some kind of crazy tantric sex party: Shaun T knows how to get us going, that's for sure.

Well, bye for now! I'll check in with an update after our next fit test (I missed this last one because I was in Philly. IRONIC (in that Alanis Morrisette way).


p.s. don't keep your legs too wide... JOSH.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don't Give Up.

Good Morning from San Francisco International Airport!

I am using the term "morning" loosely (It's actually only 12:41 AM- still night some might say?) but Kett and I are en route the the East coast to hang with friends, do a meet and greet with his mom, and watch me perform in a fancy pants experimental film fest. ( is the website! My piece will be performed this Friday at 9:15PM if you wanna check out my sweet ripped bod in a contemporary art context). We have a six thirty AM flight so we are getting all buck wild and pulling an all nighter in the liminal capsule of SFO. I've abolished my "no soda" decree of just a few days ago in order to guzzle a Coke Zero (gross, I know-my insides will punch me soon, I'm sure.) and I am using the glory that is the revelry of remaining just immature enough to willingly go without sleep to fuel an Insanity post. Huzzah.

This morning, after our second fit test and two weeks of me really following the calendar I confidently declared : "Hey Kettner, I think those rest days really work!" His response? : "Duh!"

My fit test results this time around have shown vast improvements from my first stab at Insanity. I only stayed the same in one category, and went slightly down in another but mostly, I kinda killed it. I felt ready, confidant, excited, and all around good for most of the moves and amazed myself with exponential improvement on most exercises. Globe jumps can still kick rocks, for all I care, but I am much more capable of at least holding good form while mired in pain than I was when I started this round.

A few things:

1) Having a buddy to do Insanity with is really motivating. I did about half of my first round minus Kett, and while I still think I improved in that time, having Kettner there with me makes it lots more rigorous and also just fun. Because of the sweet OCD I have it drives me fucking nuts to be off beat during moves like switch kicks, and so I push to meet his pace, which is honestly much faster then I would go on my own. After pushing harder than I thought possible it is much easier to accept the recovery workouts and days off. Other bonuses: We can laugh at the cute things Shaun T. says ("Act like you're holding potato chips when you do this move!") an lastly, having the dude I love most get all sweaty and grunty next to me is never a bad time.

2) Adding Cardio Abs after Pure Cardio in the second week actually felt a lot more jarring then I would have imagined. Mid Cardio Abs warm up I threw up a little in my mouth- a new phenomenon! I think that really getting my form right and pushing the moves hard is of course an improvement, but depletes me much more quickly then when I would take lots of rests during sets due to inabilities. Consequently, Insanity gets harder as I get stronger. I think this will eventually taper off, but as it stands now- WOOF. What an ass kicker.

3) Fuck a recovery work out so hard. I find those slow lunges to be completely awful- perhaps even worse then the level two drills-to ski abs- to in&out abs set that all Insanity-ers seem to dread. Why do these suck so much? Someone please explain why I burst into tears halfway through every single time....

Fit test Results! First week one, then week two.

Switch kicks: 89/94
Power jacks: 49/54
Power knees: 90/94
Power jumps: 32/35
Globe jumps: 8/8
Suicide jumps: 20/21
Push up jacks: 23/20
Low plank obliques: 59/69

Ok, Kettnerd here, so I'm back with more insanity. It's been a couple of weeks since me and Lacy jumped back into the program right with the first fit test. It's been mostly really really good. I hit some stumbling blocks after only a few days though when grad school/freelance illustration just refused to give me any breathing room. Such a bummer , but really what i've found is having the better part of an hour every day where I push and physically exhaust myself really helps to prevent me from emotionally exhausting myself dealing with other pressure and stuff. It's just like I don't really have the energy to freak out. And some of that excess stress can get channeled into suicide jumps or doing moving push ups until my arms cave. so, like I said I did miss a couple, but I just hopped right back in like I didn't miss a step, it hurt, but my body is once again getting into the groove of the exercises. There isn't an awkward pause so i'm able to just, as Shaun would say, be "in it", and when that happens it really does feel great.
So we had our second fit test together, and I think we were both happy with the results. (I haven't checked Lacy's post yet, we are sitting beside each other in a mostly empty airline terminal, maybe we'll dazzle the delta airlines boarding staff with some early morning mummy kicks, who knows?) Anyways yeah I was happy, my numbers mostly jumped a little, except Power Knees, which dipped.
Week 1/Week3
Switch Kicks: 120/121
Power Jacks: 46/53
Power Knees: 85/75
Power Jumps: 54/57
Globe Jumps: 9/10
Suicide Jumps: 20/21
Push Up Jacks: 36/38
Low Plank O's: 61/69

I've found it helpful to track progress even in the midst of regular workouts, especially with bigger moves like power jumps and globe jumps, I try and keep count and I've noticed how I'm able to do more even in the sets, of course I am also sometimes reduced to a puddle, or some moves will suffer after I really push in others. Classically in the Plyo workout, I will really try to bust my ass with power jumps and squat kicks, and by the time it gets to hit the floor I just don't have the strength in my legs to go fast. So yeah, Insanity is doing it's job, but I would say that more than showing the lil jump in numbers the biggest difference I feel is needing less recovery time when it's all said and done, so encouragement to those who try out insanity and give up in the first week, you should hang in, it's amazing how strong you feel when you realize that you can push yourself and your cardio will just naturally get so much better that you can recover what you need even after just 30-45 seconds. Dig deep.

Oh, and what did I say about a mummy kick?
strange rituals? savage cruelty?? Shaun T, what have you gotten us into?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I bet you thought Insanity Punx blog was gone for good, huh? WELL SURPRISE! This shit is about to be unearthed. What better day for a resurrection then Halloween?

A little background: Kettner has completed the entire sixty day Insanity cycle twice and I (Lacy!) have completed it once. We both have fallen out of the groove of consistently joining our friend Shaun T. to get insane and so we decided to get back to basics and start the program over together, this time followed by the Insanity follow up program, Asylum. This means that we are committing to 90 days of prioritizing the set calendars, returning to shorter more basic month one workouts at first, the familiarity of MAX month next, and then a whole new journey with embarking on Asylum. We are collectively both stoked and scared, and ready for whatevs. Truth is, we both spend a lot of time wearing berets & striped shirts, getting sensitive, and feeling feelings in our respective MFA programs and we need a venue to jock out. Additionally, if Kettner starts to lose that ab definition our relationship might quickly crescendo and turn into a thing of the past. Incentive! (Just kidding, just kidding!)

I want to talk a little about my experience going through Insanity the first time through. I come from a background of fairly excessive and compulsive cardiovascular exercise and have had a pretty long journey of trying to figure out what an appropriate and nourishing amount of exercise might look like and how I can implement that into my life. I had ellipticized, spin cycled, and ran myself to death and the result was a thin, weak, and completely non muscular body. I had tons of cardiovascular strength, was excellent at recovering quickly from intense sprints, but couldn’t do a push up to save my life. I was totally depleted from all the cardio and really wanted to work strength building into my fitness priority list more and calorie burning into it less. Fact of the matter is, I needed to fundamentally change my attitude toward exercise and seeing my friends get both ripped and stoked via Insanity inspired me to do the same.

It took huge leaps of faith for me to accept the first months shorter stints of exercise as being adequate. I had become so used to exercising hard for one hour every day, without ever doing any more or any less, and when I saw that month one’s work outs were closer to thirty or forty minutes a part of my brain quickly put them into the “not enough” category. Each morning as I finished my routine I had to talk myself out of that malarkey and just put trust in Shaun T.’s modes of operation. Look at Tania’s ripped bod! You think she got those crazy quads from a “not enough” exercise program? I think not.

After careful and calculated brain recalibration I engaged with Insanity with tenacity. Like I said, when I started I couldn’t do one single push up. When I first power jumped I thought I had been sprung straight into the realms of hell. Switch kicks were a slow and gentle back and forth rocking that were accompanied by deep groans of pain that may as well have come from the geriatric. For all my exercising, I was decidedly unstrong. I found myself getting extremely frustrated, simply because I wasn't even strong enough to do half the moves in Insanity. The already-shorter-than-my-usual month one Insanity work outs were tough for me mostly because I couldn't even DO most of them. The only Insanity work out I really liked was the cardio circuit, and that's because I was used to such workouts. I felt like a champ for that one, but a complete wiener on all the others.

Despite my deep annoyance I persisted, and I got stronger. When push ups started to become easier my mind was fucking blown. My legs have always been pretty ripped due to some good genes and being a bike commuter but when my baby arms started to look a little less baby like and a tiny shadow of an abdominal muscle appeared I nearly wept with glee. Watching myself become strong was weird as hell, especially when I was used to exercise needlessly wrecking me without results aside from maintaining a number on a scale.

I made some mistakes my first time around with Insanity. I never ever took days off (as the calendar suggests doing each Sunday) and I didn't take the recovery week between month one and month two. Bad form! MAX month made my body stronger then its ever been in my entire life but this time around I'm going to do it the straight up Shaun T. way (breaks and all) and trust that my body can get even more buff with the help of giving my muscles a chance to take a weekly breather. My ultimate goal is to be able to bench press Kettner while casually doing leg lifts and eating a sandwich. We'll see what we can do.

Today's fit test results:

Switch kicks: 89
Power jacks: 49
Power knees: 90
Power jumps: 32
Globe jumps: 8 (although I am not gonna lie, my form got a little sloppy on these)
Suicide jumps: 20
Push up Jacks: 23 (A true fucking feat! The first time I tried this I did eleven)
Low plank obliques: 59

Ok guys, I guess we're back to basics,

I've gone through the 60 days a couple of times and when I first got to San Francisco, Lacy was JUST starting month 2, after a summer which was very active (though not quite on the insanity calendar) I jumped into max month with her, and pushed through september, It was really fun, however, by the time October rolled around , grad school was getting REAL ( like F'real f'real ) and I was making time for Shaun T less and less. Well this past saturday Lacy and I endeavored to do the MAX interval circuit, and while she powered through, I had to sit out a whole set in the 3rd interval, it was pretty humbling after having done these work outs so much. I hadn't worked out at all in 16 days, and the intense laptop marathon seshes of grad school had robbed me of strength and flexibility.

We HAD been really stoked when we downloaded the ASYLUM workouts, but I now realized there was no way in hell I could jump into that. So, we are back to square one, back to the calendar, INCLUDING fit tests. We recorded our numbers yesterday,and ...woah. So crazy to do a fit test after so long. I don't think my numbers were so bad (not near my all time highs, but decent) the effect of pushing hard through the whole workout though, woof! I was a puddle on the floor.

but here's the numbers

Switch Kicks: 120
Power Jacks: 46
Power Knees: 85
Power Jumps: 54
Globe Jumps: 9
Suicide Jumps: 20
Push Up Jacks: 36
Low Plank Obliques: 61

So after so long apart, Lacy and Me are back with Shaun T's like some kind of

Sunday, April 3, 2011

(in)sanity is a full time job.

Hey insanity punx...just checking in....I worked through the program a second time, and since then I've been doing my best to stay in the MAX month of workouts. It took long enough to get comfortable with these workouts, and I don't want to get to the point where I dread them all over again. The routine of max month is almost more comforting in a weird way than month one, I like having core cardio and balance as a regular part of my weekly schedule. I have been way more lenient with myself about skipping workout days tho...the past couple of weeks I've probably worked out and average of 5 days a week instead of 6. Spring is almost here for real, and I am expecting (or hoping at least) that life gets more fun and i'll have more reasons to escape my tiny sweaty room. But I'm also looking forward to swimming and running being a part of summer life. Last summer I would jog occasionally, and I'm curious to see how it feels going on those runs now that I know that my cardio is so much improved from months of insanity.

There have been a few other philly punks who have jumped on board insanity, I don't know if they are checking this blog or want to post about their workouts, but it is nice that more punks are into getting fit.

Here are the results from my last couple of fit tests. I am really pleased with my results. especially my power jumps, which I have finally been able to get into doing 30-35 for my initial push before I need to recover for a sec. I have actually taken a tiny break and not worked out the past couple of days and then did a fit test today, I was relieved that none of my results dropped, they either held steady or increased a little bit....

switch kicks: 135/135
power jacks 51/55
power knees 90/102
power jumps 60/62
globe jumps 10/11
suicide jumps 21/21
push up jacks 36/41
low plank obliques 71/75

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Insanity is Never Over

Well, technically I would have officially ended the Insanity Workout program last month, and I just wanted to check in with everyone to say that I never got around to finishing it. It's not that my interest was waning or anything like that, it's that my dad got very sick and is now terminally ill, and I was back and forth visiting him and trying to just stay afloat on the day-to-day.

I feel like I need to mention this because not finishing something like this is very unlike me, and I want to say that I would have finished it I hadn't felt so stressed and tired. But we gotta look out for ourselves, right?

It's been a long road and I'll hopefully get back to working out on the reg, but for now that hope is a little far off. Best of luck to everyone else! Keep digging deep!